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Principal Investigator: Manz, Katherine Elizabeth
Institute Receiving Award University Of Michigan At Ann Arbor
Location Ann Arbor, MI
Grant Number K01ES035398
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 Sep 2023 to 31 Aug 2026
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary (Abstract) Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are a public health concern given their environmental persistence, long biological half-life in humans, and related health effects. Exposure to PFAS during gestation, infancy, and childhood is associated with low birth weight, preeclampsia, hypothyroidism, reduced vaccine response, and metabolic alterations. The phase out of legacy PFAS, most prominently perfluorooctanoic acid and (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), has led to increased manufacturing of understudied PFAS, which contain shorter C-F chain lengths or branched structures. However, limited information is available regarding the extent of exposure and toxicity of these understudied PFAS. Thus, there is a critical need to understand the contribution of understudied, or replacement, PFAS to total PFAS exposure. This proposal will fill gaps in our knowledge of human exposure to understudied PFAS during developmentally sensitive periods of life using a combination of targeted and untargeted analytical methods in two cohorts. The central hypothesis will be tested and our overall objectives will be accomplished by pursuing two specific aims: (1) Characterize the relations of EOF, legacy PFAS, and understudied PFAS within and between maternal serum, placenta, and cord blood samples and (2) Quantify EOF, legacy PFAS, and understudied PFAS levels in breastmilk and formula and determine their contribution to infant serum EOF, legacy PFAS and understudied PFAS levels. Characterizing the magnitude of exposure to understudied, replacement PFAS is a critical need in the risk assessment process and will help guide future studies in the selection of candidate PFAS to examine. Furthermore, understanding how milk and formula contribute to infant PFAS body burden can help inform breastfeeding guidance in exposed populations. This career development award will extend the candidate’s prior training and research experience in environmental engineering and environmental analytical chemistry by providing expert mentoring and protected time to 1) gain experiential learning in study design for epidemiological and chemical exposure research, 2) develop expertise in untargeted PFAS analysis, 3) acquire proficiency in advanced statistical data analysis, and 4) develop professional and leadership skills. Her primary mentor Dr. Joseph Braun (epidemiology, chemical exposure), along with members of her mentoring team Dr. Krystal Pollitt (untargeted PFAS analysis) and Dr. Shelley Liu (statistics), will provide the needed mentoring for the candidate to establish a productive independent research program. This will be achieved through hands-on training that includes coursework, conferences, grant development, scientific communication, and career development skills. Upon successful completion of the training portion of this grant, it is expected that Dr. Manz will be successful as an independent investigator and prepared to establish a R01 funded research program.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 44 - Developmental Biology/Teratogenesis
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Abee Boyles
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